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Thursday, October 20, 2005


by Elizabeth Pietrzak

The Directorate of Tube Alloys
lined up among mighty masters of fate
remembers that a sleek polished silver
shell can mask exquisite terror. Anger
hides beneath a glistening rod, fat hate
feeds hot fear, god-ordained to dominate
shoves it down my throat until I whimper
or beg, to lie with my eyes closed eager
for more, nourishment which I learn too late —
my insides ripped apart and full with his
burning seed, infected fissures hammered
home. He is satisfied and I leveled,
tread marks on the desert floor, dry kiss
licking the dirt, faithful, devout, covered
in the feces of his tube alloys.

“By the year 1939 it had become widely
among scientists of many nations that the
release of
energy by atomic fission was a possibility.”
—Winston Churchill,
“My Second Visit to the West”
The Hinge of Fate.

Elizabeth Pietrzak of Claremont, California is a mostly-vegetarian poet who spurns the meat of global over-consumption in favor of a sustainable, locally grown lifestyle. She received her BA from the University of La Verne and is working on her MFA in creative writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles. She is working on a novel as well as a collection of poetry, and has published her first chapbook, The Scent of Kisses in the Dark. She explains that the "The Directorate of Tube Alloys . . . refers to the title of the task force assigned to develop viable nuclear weaponry during World War II. . . . The threat of nuclear warfare has been surreptitiously shored up as our president supports replacement ‘detonators’ for current weaponry while not really committing to proper disposal of the old ones; i.e a great way to increase our stockpile without drawing too much attention. Meanwhile, the damage caused by depleted uranium from current warfare goes largely unchecked by the public. Nuclear war continues today, only in slightly modified form.”